Tempered glass backboard, 4-inch square pole, crank adjust, 2 foot overhang, no installation
1/4″ backboard, stability, leaky base, 3-section pole
The Spalding 68454 features a 54″ tempered glass backboard, a 4-inch square pole, and an Arena Slam breakaway rim. It adjusts infinitely from 7.5 – 10 feet with the use of a crank adjust system. The pole comes in three sections and has a 4-strut mount that connects to the backboard for additional support. The backboard is 1/4″ thick, and frame with 1 x 1-inch steel and aluminum trim. Spalding backs it with a 5-year limited warranty. Dimensions: 57 x 37 x 18; 208 pounds.
What To Like
- 54″ tempered glass backboard. This size is suited for either a 1 or 2 car driveway. If you want a 60″ backboard, then check out the Spalding 74560 “The Beast”. Tempered glass is top of the line, as it’s used in NCAA and NBA.
- 4″ square pole. To accommodate a heavier backboard, the pole is a bit thicker and square instead of round. A square pole is advantageous because it reduces vibration. Many low-to-mid priced portables have 3-3.5″ round poles, so this hoop will naturally be better for performance.
- Breakaway rim. Not a huge deal considering that most hoops do have this style of rim. This rim is pretty typical for what you would see from hoops in this price range. Nonetheless, it allows for dunking and is ultimately better for shooting because it has give.
- Crank adjust. This height adjust mechanism is the most simple and durable type available. It does take more work to raise and lower compared to gas assisted mechanisms, but they do have a shorter life span. A crank is also more precise.
- Infinite adjustment. Some hoops adjust increments of 6″ or so, but this one can adjust to any height between 7.5 and 10 feet. More than anything, it gives you more options to choose from.
- 2 foot overhang. This is just enough space for players to feel comfortable playing under the hoop. They will be less likely to run into the pole, and have more room to maneuver while playing.
- No installation. For those who don’t want to install an in-ground hoop, this is a great compromise. You still get a tempered glass backboard, but with the luxury of portability.
What Not To Like
- 1/4″ thick backboard. Tempered glass is phenomenal. But, it’s a bit thin at 1/4″. Most tempered glass backboards are 3/8″, and the best of the best are 1/2″ thick. The thicker a backboard is, the less likely it is to break. Plus, it’s also likely to be more rigid, which is better for performance. Though, the steel frame does help make it a bit more sturdy.
- Stability. The tempered glass hoop certainly adds some sturdiness, but nothing compares to actually having the hoop cemented into the ground.
- Leaky base. I have read numerous customer reviews who report that the base on their portable leaked either water or sand. That is a downside with portable models. The base is usually not the most durable and is susceptible to punctures.
- 3-section pole. The more sections a pole has, the less sturdy it will naturally be. It only makes sense. Plus, you will have to go through the trouble of putting them together.
Here is the way I look at it. If you want a portable hoop for under $700, this is probably your best bet. However, if you have a larger budget, then I would strongly consider the “The Beast”. The reason? It has a 60″ backboard. The bigger the backboard, the better. Plus, 60″ is a good size because it’s not too big for a 2-car driveway. If however you would rather not spend that much, then the 68454 is a good option.
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